The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) has welcomed the declaration of a National State of Disaster and has called a meeting with the Department of Basic Education to forge a way forward.
In a statement on Monday, 16 March 2020, the South African Democratic Teachers’ Union welcomed the declaration of a National State of Disaster, as announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday, 15 March 2020. To curb the spread of the rampant coronavirus (Covid-19), President Ramaphosa announced that schools would close, as from Wednesday, 18 March 2020, until after the Easter holidays. Although this has been received with a sigh of relief, SADTU has raised a concern about the halt in the academic programme in the interim.
The union has since set up a meeting with the Department of Basic Education on Tuesday, 17 March 2020, to discuss “the development of learning materials as per our request and the interventions we can implement after the Easter recess period.” The trade union has also called on teachers and learners to focus on their schoolwork and develop a form of communication, where each person could help the other during this period. Beyond this meeting, the union has called on teachers and learners to remain safe by prioritising hygiene, even at home.
“Let us wash our hands with soap all the times at least more than 20 seconds, sanitize and clean surfaces. Let us observe the required distance and when coughing or sneezing, please cover your mouth with a tissue. Together, we can stop the spread of the virus,” the statement concluded.